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Gibson Les Paul: Classic vs Standard

The ultimate battle is here!

by Terry
Gibson Les Paul: Classic vs Standard

When it comes to iconic electric guitars, the Gibson Les Paul stands tall as a symbol of rock history and musical craftsmanship. Among its many variants, the Gibson Les Paul Standard ’60s and the Gibson Les Paul Classic are two models that continue to captivate guitarists with their blend of vintage charm and modern functionality. But what sets these two models apart? Let’s dive into a detailed comparison to help you understand their unique features and decide which might be the perfect fit for you.

The Gibson Les Paul Standard ’60s aims to resurrect the vibe and tone of the legendary 1960s Les Pauls. With its traditional construction and hand-wired electronics, it offers a playing experience that harks back to the golden era of rock music. On the other hand, the Gibson Les Paul Classic takes a slightly different approach by combining vintage aesthetics with modern enhancements like push-pull controls, making it a versatile instrument suitable for a wide range of musical styles.

1. Neck Profile

One of the most critical aspects of any guitar is the neck profile, as it significantly affects playability and comfort. Both the Standard ’60s and the Classic offer a slim taper neck, but there are nuances that might make one more appealing to certain players.

Standard ’60s

The Gibson Les Paul Standard ’60s features a slim taper neck that is inspired by the late 1960s design. This profile is known for its comfortable and fast-playing feel, making it a favorite among many guitarists who prefer a thinner neck.


The Gibson Les Paul Classic also boasts a slim taper neck, offering a similar comfortable playing experience. However, some variations in feel can be found among different models, providing a slightly broader range of neck profiles to suit various preferences.

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2. Electronics

Electronics play a pivotal role in shaping a guitar’s tone and versatility. While both models come equipped with high-quality pickups, their electronic configurations cater to different tonal needs and playing styles.

Standard ’60s

Equipped with Burstbucker 61R and 61T pickups, the Standard ’60s delivers a classic PAF (Patent Applied For) tone. The hand-wired electronics with Orange Drop capacitors ensure a warm, vintage sound that many purists seek.


The Classic model comes with the same Burstbucker 61R and 61T pickups but adds modern push-pull controls. These controls allow for coil-splitting, phase switching, and a pure bypass option, offering a versatile tonal palette that can adapt to different playing styles and genres.

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3. Hardware

Hardware quality and configuration are essential for a guitar’s tuning stability and overall performance. Both models feature high-quality hardware, but there are differences worth noting.

Standard ’60s

The hardware on the Standard ’60s includes an ABR-1 Tune-O-Matic bridge, which is more vintage-accurate. This choice is ideal for players looking for an authentic ’60s playing experience with traditional hardware.


In contrast, the Classic model features a Nashville Tune-O-Matic bridge, which is slightly more modern. This bridge offers better stability and intonation, making it a practical choice for contemporary players.


4. Aesthetics

The look of a guitar can be just as important as its sound, especially for performers who want to make a statement on stage. Both the Standard ’60s and the Classic have their own visual appeal.

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Standard ’60s

Aesthetically, the Standard ’60s is designed to capture the vintage look with its plain top and gloss nitrocellulose lacquer finish. It stays true to the original design elements of the 1960s Les Paul.


The Classic, while maintaining a vintage-inspired look, incorporates more modern touches. Its gloss nitrocellulose lacquer finish and push-pull pots give it a distinct edge, blending old-school charm with contemporary functionality.

FeatureGibson Les Paul Standard ’60sGibson Les Paul Classic
BodyMahogany with a maple topMahogany with a maple top
Neck ProfileSlim taperSlim taper
FretboardRosewood with trapezoid inlaysRosewood with acrylic trapezoid inlays
PickupsBurstbucker 61R (neck), 61T (bridge)Burstbucker 61R (neck), 61T (bridge)
ElectronicsHand-wired with Orange Drop capacitorsPush-pull controls for added versatility
BridgeABR-1 Tune-O-MaticNashville Tune-O-Matic
FinishGloss nitrocellulose lacquerGloss nitrocellulose lacquer
Unique FeaturesVintage-accurate design and componentsModern features like coil-splitting


Both the Gibson Les Paul Standard ’60s and the Gibson Les Paul Classic offer remarkable qualities that can satisfy different needs and preferences. If you are looking for an authentic vintage experience with a focus on traditional tone and design, the Standard ’60s might be your go-to guitar. However, if you seek a blend of vintage looks with modern versatility, the Classic model is a fantastic choice. Whichever you choose, both guitars embody the timeless legacy of the Gibson Les Paul, ensuring a premium playing experience.

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